Tom Everhart was born on May 21, 1952 in Washington, D.C. He began his under graduate studies at the Yale University of Art and Architecture in 1970. In 1972, he participated in an independent study program under Earl Hoffman at St. Mary’s College. He returned to the Yale School of Art and Architecture in 1974 where he completed his graduate work in 1976, which was followed by his post-graduate studies at the Musee de l’Orangerie, in Paris. He briefly taught Life Drawing and Painting from 1979 to 1980 at Antioch College.
In 1980, Everhart was introduced to cartoonist Charles M. Schulz at Schulz’s studios in Santa Rosa, California. A few weeks prior to their meeting, Everhart, having absolutely no education in cartooning, found himself involved in a freelance project that required him to draw and present Peanuts renderings to Schulz’s studios. Preparing as he would for his drawings and studies of large-scale skeleton/nature related paintings, Everhart blew up some of the Peanuts cartoon strips on a twenty-five foot wall in his studio. This eliminated the perimeter lines of the cartoon box, leaving only the marks of the cartoonist. Thus Schulz’s painterly pen stroke, now larger than life, was translated into painterly brush strokes. It was now a language that overwhelmingly connected to Everhart’s own form of expression and communication. Completely impressed with Schulz’s line, Everhart was able to reproduce the line art almost exactly, which greatly impressed Schulz at their meeting. It was at this time that Everhart and Schulz's ongoing relationship of friendship and education of Schulz line style began.
Everhart's paintings using Schulz’s comic strip, Peanuts, as subject matter began to replace the skeleton and nature related paintings of his earlier works. The inspiration came to Everhart in Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was undergoing several operations for stage 4 colon/liver cancer in the summer of 1988. Everhart recalls lying in a hospital bed surrounded by enough flowers to open a florist shop, piles of art books, and a stack of Peanuts comic strips sent to him by Schulz. The light streaming in from the window almost projected the new images of his future Schulz inspired paintings on the wall. All the images in Everhart’s work are in some respect derived from Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip.
In January 1990, Everhart’s Schulz related work went on to show at the Louvre in Paris and subsequently in Los Angeles at the L.A. County Museum of Natural History, in Montreal at the Museum of Fine Arts, in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan at the Suntory Museum of Art, as well as in Rome, Venice, Milan, Minneapolis, Baltimore, New York, Houston, Chicago, and Las Vegas. It was also exhibited in Santa Rosa California at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. In 2000, Everhart's first solo museum show was launched at the Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. The exhibition traveled to five other locations in Japan until 2002.
In 1991, Schulz and United Media drafted a legal agreement to allow Everhart to use subject matter from Schulz’s Peanuts strip in his art for “the term of his life." Then in 1997, an agreement with Everhart, Schulz, and United Media Feature Syndicate was signed. This granted third parties licenses with respect to the Schulz inspired paintings to produce up-scale museum type products. In 2010, this agreement was continued in effect with Iconix.
After Charles Schulz passed away in February of 2000 it left Everhart with a deep sense of loss as well as an even stronger desire to communicate the incredible gift bestowed on him by Schulz. Thus, Everhart discovered French Polynesia, a small group of islands in the center of the Pacific Ocean. The ongoing trips between French Polynesia and Venice California have had a significant effect on the paintings most easily observed in the luminous color palette. But, most importantly, it offered him a new way of seeing the work that he was dedicated to continuing.
The Charles M. Schulz Museum opened in August 2002 and the following year November 14, 2003 Everhart had the honor of presenting his works in a solo exhibition, "Under The Influence." He was also included in the museum’s 2011, "Pop’d From The Panel" exhibition along with Warhol and Lichtenstein.
After living in San Francisco, Paris, New York, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and London, Everhart now resides in Venice, California with his wife and director of their studio, Jennifer. Everhart continues to lecture around the world on the artwork of Charles M. Schulz and to communicate the unique collaborative relationship they shared, as a cartoonist and a painter. To this he has dedicated his life. Everhart is the only fine artist educated by Schulz and legally authorized by both Schulz and Iconix to use subject matter from Schulz’s Peanuts strip to create fine art.